Balsamic Strawberry Shortcakes

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Balsamic Strawberry Shortcakes

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ cup plus 1 tsp. sugar, divided
1½ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups heavy cream, set aside about 1 tablespoon for brushing
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 lb. strawberries
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons Emilio Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
1 tsp. Orange Zest

Directions

In a food processor, place flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt and cubed cold butter. Pulse gently until the butter is about the size of a pea.
Pour the flour mix into a large bowl and make a well in the center to add the buttermilk. Add buttermilk and begin to mix with your hands, or a rubber spatula to bring together the shaggy dough.
Lightly dust your bench with flour and place the dough on the surface. Bringing together with your hands, without really kneading.

You just want to flatten out the dough with your hands, and fold once to incorporate any dry bits. Once it’s folded in half, you can dust some more flour on top and using a rolling pin you can start rolling it out, gently, to about 1 inch thick. Add flour as needed so the dough doesn't stick to your surface or your rolling pin. Fold the dough one more time, and roll out. Repeating this method will give you some nice layers once they bake.
When you are back to your 1 inch thick rectangle, you can go ahead and cut the shortcakes into 2x2 inch squares, or use a circle cutter to cut out your biscuits.
Set them on a parchment lined pan, and brush the tops with the remaining buttermilk. Sprinkle a little sugar on top to garnish and to give them that nice surgery crust after they are baked.

Set them in the freezer for about ten minutes or so to give the butter some time to seize up while you pre-heat your over to 400 degrees. Place a rack in the center of your oven.
Bake the shortcakes for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. While the shortcakes are baking, you can prepare the berries and whipped cream.

In the kitchen aid bowl, or a large bowl if you’re whisking by hand. Place the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla and whip until you have achieved a soft peak. Or the cream has a soft hold. Separately, rinse your berries. Trim, and quarter them into a bowl. 
Macerate these berries with the Emilio Balsamic Vinegar of Modena to obtain a combination of flavors. Zest about half of an orange onto the berries and toss with sugar to coat them fully. Let them sit at room temperature, tossing occasionally while you wait.

The flavors will marry each other and start to break down the berries while you wait for the shortcakes to bake, and most IMPORTANTLY fully cool.
Let shortcakes cool 15 minutes, or longer. Gently split shortcakes in half with your hands. Place bottom halves in serving bowls. Divide whipped cream, then macerated strawberries among bottom halves. Drizzle any syrupy juices left in bowl over.
Close with top halves of shortcake.